Thursday 16 August 2018

Fraud probe begins over €150k missing fees at prestigious girls' school

Blanchardstown Garda Station (Photo: Google Maps)
Blanchardstown Garda Station (Photo: Google Maps)

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

GARDAI are investigating an alleged €150,000 fraud at one of the country’s most prestigious girls’ secondary schools.

Officers from Blanchardstown Garda Station have been investigating the “fraudulent diverting of payments” at one of the top fee-paying schools in Dublin.

It is understood that the investigation began a number of weeks ago, after gardai received a complaint about “financial impropriety” at the school, which occurred over a period last year.

A senior source revealed that  an employee of the school is the chief suspect and it is believed that this person is currently not working in the school.

The alleged financial impropriety relates to annual fees being paid for students at the school but allegedly not being paid to the school.

“This is about the diverting of payments, which is essentially fees being illegally tapped off by a person instead of going to the school,” a senior source told Independent.ie

THEFT

“It is being investigated as theft and investigations have established that this was not a complicated fraudulent scam.

“No arrests have yet been made in this case, which is being investigated by Blanchardstown gardai.

“A definite line of enquiry is being followed but the investigation is at an early stage and no arrests are planned yet.”

A place in the elite private school costs about €5,000 per year and the school takes in a figure in the region of €3.5m in fees every year.

When approached by the Independent.ie yesterday, the school’s principal said it could not comment as the matter is currently under investigation by gardai.

“There is an investigation,” the principal said.

“Some irregularities were found in accounts last year and they are being investigated by the gardai, so we can’t comment further because it might interfere with that investigation.”

The school would not comment on the amount of money at the centre of the investigation, or whether or not a staff member was suspended.

Herald

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